Thursday, July 31, 2014

Support Recycling in Indy!

Mayor Greg Ballard, who had been doing a respectable job as mayor, for a Republican, recently signed a contract with a garbage profiteering firm called Covanta which will destroy much of the recycling infrastructure that free-thinking and intelligent people have built here in Indianapolis. The lazy and uninformed (nearly 100% overlap if you put that group in a Venn diagram with the Republican rank and file) will believe the shit that Covanta is shoveling, because they will think that 100% participation in recycling is a good thing (never mind that glass isn't included - oops!). They won't stop to consider that recyclables mixed with garbage might be contaminated and unusable, and they certainly won't take the time to consider the long-term effects of signing over our garbage - until the year 2028 - to a company that burns it and sells the steam produced from that burning for profit.

Although the contract has already been signed, the Board of Public Works still has to approve it; and there is still time to make your voice heard. You can click here to sign a petition, and you can click here to contact the mayor's office directly. More information on this blatant money grab can be found here and here. Mayor Ballard will run for re-election next year, and once the details of this embarrassing environmental about-face are made clear to the voters, he's sure to lose the support of a great many voters he lied to when he said he cared about sustainability and the environment. All those bike lanes and re-paved streets are nice, but it's time to ditch the liar Greg Ballard and send him back to the ranks of the unemployed, where all Republicans belong.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Deep Thoughts #102

But then I nail a reasonably solid fake tweet and I feel a little bit better. Patricia Lockwood’s fake sext tweets make me feel better, too.

Deep Thoughts #101

I am currently reading a crappy novel with bad writing, and it’s making me question every sentence of my own. Am I that much of a hack, too?

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Pledge of the Independents

The Abbey Bookshop, in Paris, has launched some kind of Facebook campaign to encourage folks not to buy books from Amazon or any of its lackeys, due in part to the ongoing tussle between Amazon and Hachette. (Just Google "Amazon Hachette," and you'll be up to speed in about 0.36 seconds.) I don't support Facebook, or the way it assimilates people into its collective (especially when those people go about indiscriminately sharing unsourced information just because it sounds good), but every now and then you have to make this kind of exception. So I am sharing a link to the Abbey Bookshop's Facebook page for the Pledge of the Independents.

Amazon's goal of creating a commercial monopoly on goods and (increasingly) services has come to fruition in no small part because they cut their teeth selling books on the magic internets (and culling so much information from their books customers that they very quickly learned how to sell pretty much everything to pretty much everyone) and because they are willing to sell just about anything at a loss, as long as it means that they keep assimilating customers who don't care about anything except how cheap they can get whatever they want. (Walmart does the exact same thing, but with the added bonus of depressing wages in the communities where they plant their discount megachurches.)

Now that Amazon's shareholders have finally begun to bristle at the no-profits business model, Amazon has responded by squeezing yet another of its suppliers, Hachette Book Group. Most of the time when this happens, the supplier in question starts crying and tries to say no, but then is forced by Amazon to take another bump of X, shut the fuck up, and spread its legs. Hachette is putting up something of a fight, and it's starting to feel like they're building some momentum.

I'm not in book buying mode at the moment, but I have made the decision to buy what books I choose to buy from the local indie stores. We're not so fortunate here in Indianapolis to have a great independent bookstore like Seattle's Elliott Bay Book Company, but Indy Reads Books and Bookmamas are not bad - and they can get you any new title that you need. Amazon needs to be made aware that its business practices are unacceptable, and that's why I'm sharing a Facebook link. (And no, the irony is not lost on me that I am sharing information about the shady business practices of one giant internet company by using the product of another giant internet company.)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

It's Coming Right For Us!

This is a quick video of Jackson zipping down the brick-lined sidewalk next to the Kirkwood Observatory in Bloomington. I got two videos very similar to this one a few weeks ago when we were in Bloomington; but my timing was all wrong, and the videos were way too long. I tried to edit the better one, but wound up with a clip that took up twice the disk space of the original, despite being about 80% shorter. So...when we stopped in Bloomington this afternoon, on our way back from Mammoth Cave National Park, I was fortunate enough to get the same basic video, in a shorter, more compact version.

To wit: